Here’s why you should get your flu shot every year

Influenza is one of Canada’s top 10 infectious diseases and has a catastrophic impact on society's most vulnerable

Here’s why you should get your flu shot every yearDid you get your flu shot this year? Many Canadians did not, even though safe and effective flu vaccines have been available for more than 60 years. And while the consequences of not having a flu vaccine are inconvenient for some – a few days of feeling unwell – they can be devastating for others.…

Put end-of-life wishes at the top of your to-do list

People who have conversations about their end-of-life preferences are much more likely to be satisfied with the care received

The new year is a good time to put making end-of-life wishes at the top of your to-do list. It's a perfect time to tell family and friends your health-care preferences in case one day you're unable to speak for yourself. This advance care planning is good for your peace of mind and for your loved ones,…

Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailty

Astronauts and seniors with frailty have much in common and innovative research may help solve problems for both

Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailtyFor decades, researchers have studied the effects of reduced physical activity on astronauts during prolonged journeys to space. But what's surprising is one of the uses of that research. It turns out that understanding the effects of space travel on the body may be important to understanding what happens to us on Earth as we…

More medical tests, treatments not always the best

You can have too much of a good thing when it comes to medicine for older adults

More medical tests, treatments not always the bestPrevailing wisdom states that more is better – and it’s no different when it comes to our expectation of medical treatments. With the help of the Internet, patients and their families have come to expect intensive tests, treatments and therapies at every life stage. But sometimes, too much treatment can do more harm than good.…

Facing frailty head-on

A national seniors strategy needs to account for complexity in the aging process, including risk and vulnerability

Facing frailty head-onBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere Canadian Frailty Network Canadians 65 years and older now outnumber children 14 years and under, which means our needs as a society are changing. We’re succeeding in shifting the aging curve through preventive interventions and better public health – that’s good news. But the changing demographic is causing strains…

Climate change places older adults at greater risk

We need to plan better to protect vulnerable seniors from the impact of climate change

Climate change places older adults at greater riskBy John Muscedere and George Heckman Canadian Frailty Network An elderly man in Ottawa spent most of last winter snowed in, unable to leave his home, surviving on canned food. Last summer, 54 people died as a result of a heat wave in Quebec, many of them older adults. Seniors’ communities were quickly evacuated during…

Federal funding is ending but frailty still matters

New Frontiers in Research Fund supported valuable, long-term work. The program replacing it leaves huge gaps

Federal funding is ending but frailty still mattersThe federal government has announced the end of funding for its Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. This is not good news for Canadians. The program has long been touted as the jewel of the federal government’s sciences research support – and programs around the world have been modelled after it. What makes it…

Include people living with frailty in health-care decision-making

Older Canadians say their top priorities are better co-ordinated care systems and more community and home-based supports

Include people living with frailty in health-care decision-makingBy Katherine McGilton University of Toronto and John Muscedere Canadian Frailty Network More than one million Canadians are medically frail – approximately 25 per cent of those are over age 65 and 50 per cent past age 85. The aging of Canadian society and the growing number of older adults living with frailty poses unprecedented societal…